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Henderson Silver Knights

No crying here: Silver Knights win inaugural game against Reign

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Jake Leschyshyn scored the first goal in Henderson Silver Knights history at 1:41 of the second period.

It was an important goal; it tied it 1-1 with the Ontario Reign and was the building block for Henderson winning their inaugural game, 5-2 at Orleans Arena on Saturday.

Suddenly, in the distance, a bugle hits a loud enough forte over a microphone seven rows down from the top. Surely, this is the doing of the PA announcer readying himself to announce the historic goal.

Yet it is the sound of a man who came straight from the depths of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” to let all the subjects in attendance know the happenings.

“GOAL SCORED BY LORD JAKE LESCHYSHYN OF HOUSE HENDERSON.”

“Honestly, I was really confused at what was going on at the start,” Leschyshyn said of the Henderson Town Crier. “It was just all part of the fan experience without fans, but it was pretty funny.”

It was new, exciting, and might’ve been the greatest thing ever done in a sports game. But it was a fresh, unique perspective that was nothing new from the Vegas Golden Knights organization.

Yet even in an arena with no fans — a good 50-100 people in the building working the game on this night — it was as close to making it feel like a packed house than it could’ve been.

“I thought it was a really good hockey game,” said Silver Knights coach Manny Viveiros. “It was pretty wide open. I’m sure both staffs weren’t completely happy about that, but it was a very entertaining game.”

The product on the ice was just as good. After Rasmus Kupari scored 43 seconds after Leschyshyn’s tally, the Silver Knights put four unanswered goals on the board. Jake Bischoff tied it 2-2 at 4:29, and Dylan Sikura made it 3-2 at 13:05 of the second.

Goals came in bunches, much to the exhaustion of town crier homeboy after the Sikura goal.

It’s a new name in a new city, but the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate still has the makings of a team that can make a Calder Cup run. While the majority of those on that 2019 Chicago Wolves club have since graduated (Cody Glass, Nic Hague, Zach Whitecloud), the Silver Knights have plenty of young talent that can inject excitement into the minor-league club.

Look no further than 2019 first-round pick Peyton Krebs scoring his first professional point on Danny O’Regan’s first goal with 1:53 to go. Krebs, who would’ve been with Winnipeg of the WHL under normal circumstances, did not seem intimidated for a 19-year-old playing in his first professional game. He drew two penalties in the first 3:30 of the game and could’ve had a bigger scoring night if not for a couple of bounces. Even Jack Dugan, the former Hobey Baker finalist, had an assist in his first pro game.

“I thought they were outstanding,” Viveiros said of Krebs and Dugan. “Both those guys have played at high levels of hockey before. These kids have been on a big stage before. They weren’t fazed at all, and I was really happy with how they play.”

Tack on a 29-save night from Logan Thompson, who has looked good since the onset of training camp, and it was a stellar night for the Knights of Silver.

Orleans Arena is a great placeholder home for the Silver Knights until the Henderson Events Center opens its doors two seasons from now. It certainly has a homey-feel to a minor-league hockey team that’s seemingly capable of hosting an AHL team. But if the ECHL comes back around in the near future, they’ll at least have a suitable home.

The Silver Knights conclude their two-game set against the Reign on Monday. Rest well, town crier. You earned it.

Danny Webster is the newest reporter and columnist for Vegas Hockey Now. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Danny Webster has covered the Vegas Golden Knights since their inaugural season. A graduate from the Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV, Danny has written about the Golden Knights for NHL.com and SB Nation. He is now the lead reporter covering this young franchise for Vegas Hockey Now. Follow him on Twitter @DannyWebster21.

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